The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (2024) 4K Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

As per usual with a Ritchie film, there is plenty of action, including some well-shot explosions, plus a decent plot.

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (2024) 4K Review
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During World War II, The British were suffering heavy losses both at sea and from nightly air raids.  With British supply ships constantly being sunk by German submarines, they had to find a way to combat these attacks.  Brigadier Colin Gubbins (Cary Elwes; The Princess Bride) created a Black Ops Mission called Operation Postmaster to sabotage the Nazis' U-Boat resupply operation located on Fernando Po, a Spanish-controlled Island.  Working covertly, a group of individuals managed to capture the Italian supply ship, Duchessa d'Acosta, and two tug boats attached to it.  Their mission was dramatized in the Guy Ritchie-directed film The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, coming out this week on 4K, Blu-ray, and digital download.

Gus March-Phillipps (Henry Cavill; Man of Steel) and his crew Henry Hayes (Hero Fiennes Tiffin; The Silencing), Freddy Alvarez (Henry Golding; Crazy Rich Asians), and Anders Lassen (Alan Ritchson; Reacher), began a slow sail towards Fernando Po on a Swedish fishing trawler.  Meanwhile, Marjorie Stewart (Eiza González; Ambulance) arrives on Fernando Po intending to seduce SS Commander Heinrich Luhr (Til Schweiger; Inglorious Basterds). Of course, "best-laid plans" rarely work out the way they are supposed to and Marjorie is found out while the others are informed that they can't blow up the Duchessa as originally intended and instead must steal it.

As per usual with a Ritchie film, there is plenty of action, including some well-shot explosions, plus a decent plot.  Unfortunately, despite being based on a true story and having a terrific cast, the movie is lackluster at best.  The first and second acts take way too long and the third act is rushed through to get to the ending.  The cast is great for the most part.  Cavill is excellent and I didn't even recognize Golding.  Ritchson adds an accent which is a decent change of pace for him and González is well cast as the femme fatale.

Visually, the 4K transfer is exquisite, with every minute detail well outlined and with color saturation providing depth to every scene.  Even the night scenes have gradient shading making everything easy to see.  The explosions are layered with fiery reds, oranges, and yellows that make them seem all too real.

The Dolby Atmos audio is well rendered and has a depth of noise that is immersive.  The front speakers offer clear dialogue while the surround sound speakers have a plethora of background noises, from officers at a party to the sound of the waves lapping against a boat, etc. Of course, the explosions rumble as the low tones of the bass can be heard from all angles.

The combo pack comes with the 4K and Blu-ray Discs and the digital download, with the extras housed on the Blu-ray disc.  Unfortunately, the extras are severely lacking on this release.  Besides the theatrical trailer, the only other extra is The Ministry of Filmmaking Featurette, which lasts a total of 24 minutes. It seems odd that other extras were not included but perhaps they are being saved for a "special edition" release later.

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare has so much going for it - a script based on a true story, a director with a proven track record for well-made, entertaining movies, and a great cast - that it is difficult to understand what exactly went wrong.  The first two acts are boring and mostly uneventful and the third act is only slightly better.  There are some humorous moments but nothing that is laugh-out-loud funny.  The biggest issue is the lack of tension even when lives are hanging in the balance.

The technical aspects of this combo pack are great but the movie isn't one of this year's best.

Grade: C-

Directed By:
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 120 minutes
Distributed By: Lionsgate

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For more information about The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare images are courtesy of Lionsgate. All Rights Reserved.

FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.


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